RALEIGH — The superintendent of the Innovative School District has been given a bigger role in the shaping of North Carolina’s public education system.
Eric Hal has been promoted to deputy state superintendent of Innovation at the Department of Public Instruction. His promotion was announced July 24 by state Superintendent Mark Johnson, the same day Johnson announced a reorganization of the DPI.
In his new role, Hall will oversee the ISD, of which Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Rowland is the only constituent, and five other DPI divisions. They are the Division of Federal Programs, The Office of Charter Schools, the Division of Accountability, the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Division of Career and Technical Education. Hall’s yearly salary will be $151,000.
Hall also will be tasked with appointing a chief operating officer for the ISD, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the district that. Hall said that the job posting was closed Monday and they will begin the interviewing process next week.
“That COO position is going to be very specific and really dedicated just to the ISD,” Hall said Friday. “It’s a position to give me and the team some additional support as we continue to deliver on our commitments to the community in Rowland with Southside-Ashpole, while also preparing for the fact that in the months of September, October and November, we will be identifying the next set of schools that will be engaging with us in our next round of school selection.”
Hall hopes to announce the new chief operating officer within 30 days.
He will also be looking at ways to be innovative in his new job.
“My goal in this new position and in this new opportunity is to work to support the amazing people we have here at the Department of Public Instruction; looking at how do we start to look at the great work that we’ve done, while also looking at some of the things we can start doing a little more differently,” he said.
“I think that was really the vision of our state superintendent. We have an opportunity to really build on the foundations that we have and retool things that we’re doing in education and bringing it forward so that we’re supporting everybody involved in the work of education while at the same time, starting to unfreeze how we think about some of the work that we’re doing in ways that really moves innovation forward.”
Some of the things Hall will be looking at are reducing testing and figuring out ways to use innovation to give middle and high school students exposure to and to prepare them for today’s job market.
“Let’s face it, there are a lot of new demands in careers as technology and innovation have really become an integral part in society with new jobs that are being created on a regular basis,” Hall said. “Do we have too much testing going? How do we give teachers the support they need so that we’re not putting an overburden on teachers with assessments and at the same time not putting additional stress on students with too many high-stakes assessments at the same time?”
His new role will not diminish his dedication to ISD, Hall said.
“The ISD has been my baby and will continue to be my baby,” he said. “I have an unbelievable team dedicated to that work and we want to continue to build on that team as we deliver on those commitments to the families and community of Rowland and get ready for this next chapter.”
Southside-Ashpole was the first school chosen for inclusion in the district created by the state General Assembly and given the task of turning low-performing schools into academically successful schools.
Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at [email protected] or 910-416-5865.